Follow the digital brick road…New curriculum creates path into high-tech fields

September 4, 2018

Creating an exciting new path to in-demand and lucrative jobs in high-tech sectors isn’t an easy job to tackle, but the Community Initiative Center of Excellence for Secure Software (CICESS) nailed it!

Winning the National CyberWatch Center’s second annual Innovations in Cybersecurity Education Award in Curriculum, the innovative CICESS operates as an employer-led secure software development dual-model apprenticeship that partners with multiple community colleges and industry leaders.

This pioneered program is a unique collaboration between Illinois Central College and employers throughout central Illinois. It draws upon the expertise and resources of key players in private and public sectors to create the first two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in Secure Software Development. Not bad, right?

What’s the best part?

It has the ongoing support of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Apprenticeship. As a matter of fact, the CICESS degree program is aligned with the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and incorporates the exacting standards of the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute (CMU/SEI) software assurance curriculum.

Plus, it’s free for public consumption!

As part of its comprehensive educational efforts, the CICESS has developed several valuable resources, which are available to the general public free of charge! In addition to its CMU/SEI-compliant standard secure software development curriculum, these resources include:

  • List of topics for an on-the-job training curriculum for apprentices to acquire secure software development competencies
  • Occupational standard, work process schedule and validation of competencies in a DOL-registered computer programmer apprenticeship for developing software which is secure from cyber attacks.

Pointing to the CICESS initiative as an ideal blueprint for other dual model apprenticeship programs in cybersecurity education, Girish Seshagiri, the ISHPI Information Technologies executive vice president of CTO, praises its capacity to provide “significant value and return-on-investment to employers, community colleges and workforce and economic development agencies.”

This innovation and more can be accessed through the National CyberWatch Center’s member portal HERE. Membership for academia is FREE, and other memberships are available HERE.